I’ve been writing about the adventures of Fred and Lucy as a memorial to my parents and to share some of the crazy stuff that happened while I and my siblings grew up in South Philadelphia. The stories are also a way for me to remember the good times and not just the sad.
Aunt Ann, Grandmom, Mom
My mother was born way before her time and her independent and self-absorbed ways often shocked friends and family alike, but it was her children who saw all of Lucy's different identities. My mother would have been happy working for a major movie company as she was very talented and had a great voice. Mom loved to be the center of attention. In fact, my mom and her sister, Ann, both sang at the Italian Opera House located near the Italian Market when they had first moved here from Naples in the late 30's.
I don’t think my mother was prepared for marriage and children, and although she did try her best to make things work out, we kids knew that there was something missing, something wrong, and when my mom decided to take off to California; we weren’t surprised.
My mother was not able to commit to the struggles of working long hours in a grocery store and raising four very active children. Lucy loved to party and travel and we would have hindered her adventures. Mom had a personality disorder, but this was only diagnosed much later in her life. Did it ease the pain of her leaving us or not being there for the important events in our lives?
No, but at least we had a diagnosis for why we were left behind. She was a product of her genetic history. I’ve always wondered if she got this trait from her father, because Grandmom Chiusolo was a saint and our guardian angel while she lived.
Mom and brother Michael
Mom and brother Michael
Mother’s Day is coming up and I’ll be spending this holiday with my daughter. My siblings and I often discuss my mother and try to figure out why she could only love us on her conditions and by her rules. My brother has forgiven her, but there are scars that reveal themselves when he speaks about her or Fred. My sisters and I love her, but we are each trying to find ways to forgive her. My Fred and Lucy stories are helping me to forgive and forget, and to love my mom for who she was.
None of us are perfect and we should not force perfection on others. And, if my daughter can forgive all the stupid mistakes I’ve made raising her, then I should do the same for Lucy. My mother and my father’s spirits hang out at my house and I’m hoping that Lucy and Fred are enjoying the weekly episodes about them as much as my followers. The picture below is Mom with second husband, Tom.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy
And a Happy Mother's Day wish for all the mommies out there